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Survivor Recap - Episode 9 - April 14

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This isn't just a recap - it's a ZCap bitches and it isn't just one Survivor it's two Survivors in one. Double the immunity challenges, double the torch snuffings, double the Philip craziness, double the Boston Robness, double the awesomeness that is Z. What more could you want on a Wednesday morning..err afternoon…err late afternoon?


So last we left Survivor, Matt made it through the Redemption Island gauntlet to return to the game only to get immediately blindsided and voted out again. Guess his hotline to Ogg was on the fritz, or maybe Ogg just hates him. What mortal can hope to understand the ways of Ogg?


To start off the show, we get a little taste of Matt's dark night of the soul on Redemption Island where he is left alone, pondering whether he is the most naive person in the history of Survivor. Whoa, top five maybe but not the most naive. Geez, does everything with you have to be "the best" or "the most"? He then goes on to call himself a moron and the Z won't disagree with that pronouncement, not in the slightest. In any case, he's sure it's all part of Ogg's great plan for Matt whatever it might be and he accepts it. In the end, I say he's not trying to influence Ogg hard enough. BB8 Amber did a lot better job of trying to bargain with Ogg for reality show victory.


Then it's Day 22 back at the camp where the Zapetera's Dave and Mike discuss their dismal position and the how great Rob's move was last night at Tribal. Dave goes so far as to proclaim it was a straight mob hit out of the movies with a certain relish in his voice which makes it fairly certain to me that Dave's greatest hope in life is to be a mob lawyer. They even go so far as to call Rob over to the fire to congratulate him on the move. Great - don't even try to scheme or plot or get someone to flip sides. Just roll over on your stomach and hope Rob takes pity on you and let's you last a couple of weeks longer. What a loser move.


Speaking of loser moves then comes Mater (aka Ralph) who attempts to get information and some sort of unspecified deal from Ashley. To begin with, Matter (aka Ralph) asks Ashley, in Hillbillyeese, if he's the next on the "chop block". Ashley has some trouble translating for a few moments until she realizes that Ralph is asking if he's the next to go. She explains to Ralph that she doesn't know and she can't talk about it. Natalie, sensing some disturbance in the Force, lurks nearby watching the interaction closely. Ralph, unable to get any information then tells Ashley that he will vote for her instead of Rob in the final three. He doesn't ask for anything in return - just flat out tells her that he will vote for her instead of Rob. Ashley giggles but remains non-committal (what are you supposed to say to such an unsolicited vote promise anyway?) while Natalie remains quiet but nervous that there is possible plotting against her Zombie master. In fact, later, she runs right back to her Zombie master to tattle tale on her bestie Ashley and drops in the additional info that Ashley didn't want to tell Rob about the conversation. Rob takes the opportunity to thank Natalie for her loyalty and then tells the PA, after Natalie leaves, that Mater (aka Ralph) is going anyway but this just makes it certain that Ashely doesn't get to go to final three so Ralph can't vote for her instead of Rob.


Mater (aka Ralph) gets some solo camera time to tell the viewers how "frurstatin" it is to play the game when no one will tell you anything and knows nothing. "How ya supposta play a game when ya don't even know whar to start" he complains.


Meanwhile, Rob gathers his Zombie army together and issues some orders. First - no decisions made on who to vote out until the last minute. Second - no one gets to act like an independent adult human being anymore instead they have to operate in pairs like school children going to the bathroom together. Third - no talking to the other team about game. The Zombies murmur their understanding and agreement to the Robfather. The Robfather then gets some solo camera time to explain how it's part of his master plan for the Zombies to stay completely separated from the Zapateras to create an "us versus them" mentality with the Zombies acting arrogant and better than the Zapatera's. He won't do that but he wants the Zombies to do that so that he has a better chance of getting the final votes from the Zapateras.


Then it's time for the first of the night's two immunity challenges but before we get to the challenge proper it's time for Crazy Philip theater. Philip comes to the immunity challenge with some sort of Sacagawea looking Indian head dress of a single bird feather tied to his forehead with a buff. Probst can't resist getting this story so he asks Philip about the feather. Black Coach, err Philip, explains that he was meditating and at the end of the meditation asked for a sign when suddenly, out of thin air, appeared the "hawk" feather. Probst, remarkably straight faced, asks Philip if he means literally out of thin air and Philip responds yes, literally out of thin air. Probst continues by asking if this is a good sign and Philip, America's greatest federal agent Taliban terrorist fighting latrine trench digger, responds that it's a good sign for the alliance of the former Otempo tribe members. Yes, 22 days and he called them the Otempo tribe - that's not a mis-type.


Unfortunately, we have two shows in one tonight so Probst has to cut this short to get to the immunity challenge. It's at this point that I also must reveal to you that your faithful recapper has virtually no interest in recapping immunity competitions, particularly complicated multiple part immunity challenges, so let's just say that it involves digging, smashing, spitting, crawling, and puzzling. Dread Head Grant is the best at this particular combination of activities and wins the immunity challenge over Mike and Dave. Dave's futility on the puzzle challenge gets nary a snarky mention or comment although somewhere Sarita must be smugly self-satisfied.


After the immunity challenge, the former Zapateras mope around camp while Rob takes his Zombies for an ocean swim. Engaging in some wishful thinking, the Zapateras then decide to dig under the tribal flag in some sort of hope that an immunity idol is buried there. There isn't but it's enough to rouse Rob's suspicion and paranoia concerning the idol whereupon he commands his Zombies to storm the beach and begin digging under the tribal flag in their own quest to find the immunity idol before the Zapateras find it. The Zapatera's try to bluff the idea the found an idol and while the Robfather is still paranoid that an idol may come out and beat him like the last time he was on the show, he once again gathers his Zombies to issue voting orders.


Tribal Council time is upon us which also means it's time for another installment of Crazy Philip theater. This time he tells a story that his great-great grandfather was a full bloodied Seminole Indian and Philip communes with him in his sleep and during his meditations. Basically, Philip's long lost relative has been hanging around the ether waiting for the day one of his descendants would make the cast of reality TV show so he could provide encouragement and strategic advice on how to play the game along with making feathers appear, literally, out of thin air.


It's at this point that I come to the full realization that Philip has out-Coached Coach in being crazy. I seriously doubted anyone could ever top Coach but here he is and we aren't even half way through the show and barely half-way through the season and Philip's done it.


Tribal council is still going on and Zapatera has focused what's remaining of it's energy on trying to convince Philip that he is crazy (useless, crazy people don't think they are crazy) and that he is on the bottom of the totem pole in his alliance (also useless because you can't use rational arguments to appeal to a crazy person, only crazy arguments. They would be better off coming up with a counter-story that they found a talking magical crab that claimed Philip must do penance for killing one of it's kindred by voting with the Zapatera tribe. That would stand a chance). Philip responds by saying he likes being at the bottom because it's "a nice place to be" and that "you can look up and see what's going on". Philip then proclaims that he has a new family, Ometepe (not the Otempo, Philip?) tribe. Julie, who's been basically lifeless so far in this episode, says that Matt thought he had a family too. That's a good smackdown but it doesn't have time to settle in before Mater (aka Ralph) upset that Philip's brand of crazy is stealing all the limelight from Ralph's cornpone lunacy, tries to horn in on the discussion by talking about what it would be like to get a magical feather and Philip shuts him by saying getting a magic feather requires "courage, and determination, and knowing when to hold your tongue." This hasn't been Mater's (aka Ralph's) finest night.


In any case, the votes are cast and it's Mike from Zapatera that gets to go to Redemption Isle to duke it out with Matt.


After tribal and back at camp, Rob sidles up to Philip to make sure he knows that Rob doesn't think Philip is at the bottom of the tribe. Philip's at the top of the tribe with Rob. In a voice over Philip prattles on about something that I don't fully understand because I don't talk crazy but it has something to do with Philip actually knowing what is going on (doubtful). There isn't much time for anything else though because we still have another immunity challenge and another tribal council. And what's going to happen at Redemption Island? No one is clueing us in on what's going to happen there either.


In any case, the new immunity challenge is a simple endurance challenge. Everyone has to hang from a bar with their arms and legs up until twenty minutes at which point they can only hang by their legs. I like to think of these challenges as being the "Who's the strongest, smallest girl" challenges because almost invariably it's the smallest girl that wins.


There is a twist to the challenge though. A huge stack of cheeseburgers are available to be consumed by anyone who choses not to participate in the challenge. Production trying to stir up some tribal trouble, eh? Well, it didn't work out that great since the only people who decided to sit out the comp were Steve, who looks about as lifeless as a corpse so far this episode, and Philip who can basically do anything he wants at this point because no one is going to vote him out, unless he implodes in some spectacular fashion, since he's a perfect person to drag to the final three.


The competition begins and the big bodies start dropping - Rob, Grant, and Ralph drop along with the biggest women, Julie. The 20 minute mark hits and then the remaining contestants have to switch to only holding themselves up with their legs. A couple of the guys try to hang by one leg for some reason which is stupid since it doesn't distribute the weight equally but it doesn't really matter since all the small girls from Ometepe have this one covered. The only interesting thing that happens is that Philip starts goading David and David starts responding. Philip says that David is adjusting and getting weak. David says he is just scratching his ass. Probst starts to quiz David and Philip about why they dislike each other. David says he doesn't dislike Philip. Philip says he doesn't like David. Philip was too busy scarfing cheeseburgers to bring the A-game crazy and Probst lets it die. Finally, everyone but the three Ometepe girls, Ashley, TattleTale Natalie, and Andrea are out. Andrea asks to win the challenge and the other two agree, dropping in unison together. Andrea wins the challenge.


Quickly we are back at camp and it's the Robfather in a voice over talking about how he wants to keep the Zapatera's down and discouraged. Mater (aka Ralph) has left a net in the water to catch fish and goes to check it out. It's full of fish and the Robfather is displeased. He immediately heads out to inspect the situation and then pisses all over Mater's fish haul claiming that all the fish have been dead to long to safely eat. Even if it was true, which it wasn't, Mater wasn't having any of that talk. Hell, Mater is a hillbilly - he's probably fried up half a rotten Carp pulled from a drainage ditch a time or two in his life.


While Zapatera cooks up their fish, Rob instructs his Zombies that the fish is no good and not to eat any. The Zapateras blissfully enjoy their meal and offer their overabundant haul to any comers but only Grant has enough nerve to eat a bit before the Robfather calls him back to sit in the hut and ignore the fish bounty. Grant claims to the camera that he's his own man and will do what he wants not what Rob wants. Really? You only wanted an scrap of the fish? I think the Dread Head is fibbing.


Meanwhile, Steve is announcing to his tribemates that he is ready to pack it in and quit. He's tired of living off of scraps of rice. Rob ponders whether he should have his Zombies vote out Steve or not. While Steve might not be any worry in a depleted state, voting him out when he's asking to leave might garner Rob another vote in the end.


No time to tarry, though, because we have to hurry and get to Tribal council and another installment of Crazy Philip theater. In this installment, Crazy Philip proceeds to talk about the three way supersecret alliance of Rob, Grant and Philip which Philip has christened as "Stealth R Us". Of course, this makes "Stealth R Us" not only one of the most ridiculous alliance names in Survivor history but also the least stealthy stealth alliance ever. The other Survivors can no longer keep straight faces as Philip continues to discuss the group in detail going so far as to list off the individual stealth names for Rob, The Mentalist, Grant, the Destroyer of Aspirations, and Philip, the Specialist. Philip even explains to Probst how Rob has instituted a buddy system (Probst look of joy and astonishment that Rob has pulled this off is one of the highlights of the episode). Finally, Julie speaks up and says that basically Rob is running a cult which Rob, from the quick head turn and look of displeasure on his face clearly indicates he didn't appreciate Julie's comment and she isn't long from her own torch snuffing. Finally, we get to the vote where David is sent packing to Redemption Island and Probst reveals that there will be a Threeway Dance (or if you prefer WWE terminology, a Fatal Threeway Match) between Matt, Mike, and David for who gets to stay in the game.


And that's it for the night. Far less exciting than one would have hoped but filled to the brim with great moments of Philip craziness. Highlights for next week show that Philip's next ploy is to go all Al Sharpton on Steve's ass so I'm looking forward to that lunacy. Nothing like some racial tensions to make things ever crazier.

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